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Barbara Moss

The French Laundry 2006 -

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Don't know what all the row is about reservations for this place. Travelling to CA for a week in late April, we thought we'd try calling this week on the offchance that we might score a table.

Called at 6pm UK time, on my third call, I got ringing, selected 3 for reservations, waited a while... (thinking "I'm sure they're going to cut me off")... got through and was offered a choice of three slots for a table for two.

So we are off to the French Laundry on the night of my 40th birthday... after only 10 minutes of effort!

I realise I was incredibly lucky, but it is worth saying that it's not impossible to get a reservation. Good luck if you're trying, and less than 2 months to wait for me...


Edited by dallardice (log)

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Don't know what all the row is about reservations for this place.  Travelling to CA for a week in late April, we thought we'd try calling this week on the offchance that we might score a table.

Called at 6pm UK time, on my third call, I got ringing, selected 3 for reservations, waited a while... (thinking "I'm sure they're going to cut me off")... got through and was offered a choice of three slots for a table for two.

So we are off to the French Laundry on the night of my 40th birthday... after only 10 minutes of effort!

I realise I was incredibly lucky, but it is worth saying that it's not impossible to get a reservation.  Good luck if you're trying, and less than 2 months to wait for me...

I would advise you to play the lottery right now while your luck is on a roll. :laugh:


Robert R

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I realise I was incredibly lucky, but it is worth saying that it's not impossible to get a reservation.  Good luck if you're trying, and less than 2 months to wait for me...

Just out of curiosity, what day of the week is your reservation for? I've found it's far easier to get a reservation for mid-week then it is for the coveted Fri/Sat spots.


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I just got back from The Laundry for dinner and had a great time. I went with the tasting menu which was 9 courses for $240. The Oysters and Peals were incredible. Perfectly cooked and seasoned. In addition to the regular courses I was also given about 6 extra courses(helps to be a local sous chef).

The Coffe and doughnuts were great and a lot of fun also. My favorite courses was the classic truffled egg custard with with truffle infused veal reduction searved in an egg shell. It was fun to eat and the custard was perfectly seasoned, and the texture was wonderful.

I think it was well worth the money, concidering the gratuity is already added in, and you are treated like a king for the time you are there.

Could I go there on a regular basis? Probably not. Would I go back? Yes

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Just out of curiosity, what day of the week is your reservation for?  I've found it's far easier to get a reservation for mid-week then it is for the coveted Fri/Sat spots.

Sunday night, which certainly is the quietest night for dining in London, so I'm guessing it would be easier than Fri/Sat. Still don't think the restaurant will be empty though!

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Very curious, as the restaurant is ADAMANT (unless you are somehow connected) that reservations are 2 months TO THE DAY prior to dining. I've done the "dialing for dollars" bit from Silicon Valley and from Yountville, and I failed in Silicon Valley, and succeeded from Yountville (same exchange). I'd be VERY interested to know how this reservation really came about. Perhaps they cut him (her?) a break because they are from out of the country?


"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Very curious, as the restaurant is ADAMANT (unless you are somehow connected) that reservations are 2 months TO THE DAY prior to dining.  I've done the "dialing for dollars" bit from Silicon Valley and from Yountville, and I failed in Silicon Valley, and succeeded from Yountville (same exchange).  I'd be VERY interested to know how this reservation really came about.  Perhaps they cut him (her?) a break because they are from out of the country?

If you go into Open Table, you can open search for "next available" and early reservations show up every now and then. Someone on CH reported an availability for this Sunday, for example. It is a fluke in their system, I think.

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No tricks - I did call two months to the day and got through in the first few minutes. My partner was trying from the UK too and got 20 minutes of busy tones. I think the restaurant gods just smile on me for special occasions - we got into El Bulli for his 40th a couple of years ago. Makes up for my lack of luck in other aspects of life I suppose...

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Thanks for clarifying. I wasn't insinuating tricks, just curious if they might have cut you some slack on the 2 month rule because you're coming from out of the country.

Hope you enjoy your time in the wine country and "TK-Town"(Yountville).

Please PM me if you'd like any recs on wineries or restaurants...I live in Yountville part-time. Also, Carolyn Tillie who posts on this board often is extremely knowledgeable, as she used to live in Napa and worked at a winery near St. Helena.


"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Very curious, as the restaurant is ADAMANT (unless you are somehow connected) that reservations are 2 months TO THE DAY prior to dining.  I've done the "dialing for dollars" bit from Silicon Valley and from Yountville, and I failed in Silicon Valley, and succeeded from Yountville (same exchange).  I'd be VERY interested to know how this reservation really came about.  Perhaps they cut him (her?) a break because they are from out of the country?

ahh but two months to the day when you phone on feb 27/28th is handy as you also open up the possibilty of dining on 29/30th due to the lack of days in feb...


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Okay, so I got my coveted reservation way back when, (I think that's the most excited I've been for reservations...), and have finally, two months later, posted photos.

fave dish: oysters and pearls

extra off-menu request: Coffee and Donuts

extra off-menu gratis: Egg custard with black and white truffles and chive chip

all my French Laundry photos are here on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/sets/72157604085421493/

The lighting was heinous for photography.

also, if you go, ask for a kitchen tour. And then don't be a dork like me and stand in the doorway goggling them all. Silently.

Of note, I went to Auberge du Soleil the next day and ate at the bar for dinner. Great clams. Enough to mention it in a FL thread!


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Scored reservations for July 12th yesterday. 3.5 hours of busy signals, I think my re-dial button will need to be replaced, and by 1:30PM I was sure I was going to be wait-listed but there were still two 2-top reservationss left when I called and some 4-tops for lunch. Can't wait!!

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Scored reservations for July 12th yesterday.  3.5 hours of busy signals, I think my re-dial button will need to be replaced, and by 1:30PM I was sure I was going to be wait-listed but there were still two 2-top reservationss left when I called and some 4-tops for lunch.    Can't wait!!

That's interesting to hear. I went to TFL back in February with my wife and I was able to get a reservation with surprising ease. I literally started calling in the second the phones opened up and got through immediately. I was given a few choices of times for a 2-top. Granted, we went on a Thursday and you're going on a Saturday, so that might have contributed to your relative difficulty in snagging a reservation. Please be sure to report back and let us know how your meal goes!

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Went to TFL last friday eve with a couple who are regulars. we were treated to a 15 course meal of which all but the lamb course had 2 different preparations. so 29 different dishes. many were extraodinary and many were just very tasty. most of the best dishes were the classics, tagliatelle with truffle, custard with truffles, oyster and pearls and some new creations were wonderful, shiso sorbet, lobster with corn. the main problem this evening was the heat. it is an old building and when it is hot, it can be unbearable. and it was. when dining for 4 1/2 hours and going out to the garden every hour to wipe the sweat off is ridiculous. OPEN A WINDOW! for the prices they get they could hire someone to fan each diner individually! seriously, there must be a way to circulate the air and make the evening more bearable. TK was not there as his father recently passed away and perhaps that had something to do with it. the service was very good but not perfect and that is what i expect at TFL. dirty plates sat in frony of us for too long and napkins were nor always folded when we lsft the table. nitpicking? perhaps, but when you are TFL you are expecting perfection whether TK is there or not. one other gripe. I ordered a $130 bottle from the list and was told they had sold out of at lunch. the wine steward suggested a similar one. when i looked at the list i saw it was $300. when i told him it was too expensive he recommended another in my price range that was very good. but since my original choice was $130 I think it is a crime to suggest a wine that is more than double the price.

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Went to TFL last friday eve ... the main problem this evening was the heat.  ... I ordered a $130 bottle from the list and was told they had sold out ...the wine steward suggested a similar one.  when i looked at the list i saw it was $300.  when i told him it was too expensive he recommended another in my price range that was very good.  but since my original choice was $130 I think it is a crime to suggest a wine that is more than double the price.

Sorry to hear of your complaints, eyedoc. FYI the Laundry is known for a full-service sommelier department, which is to say it often can find wines meeting diners' specifications, once known. Story quoted above reads as though the somm. first suggested a wine closest in type to the missing one, then adjusted for price after that was explained as a requirement -- and to the diner's ultimate satisfaction. That would be considered expert service by most standards, unless the price requirement was also specified just before the first substitute suggestion, in which case it's not a "crime" but a simple mistake and given the happy outcome, why on earth complain? ("If any among you is without error, let him cast the first stone ...")

Also, if I read "last Friday" right to mean last Friday, i.e. May 16, then the heat issue would be in clearer perspective had the story added that this occurred in a record-breaking heatwave causing similar problems regionwide. (I was in the North Bay but in a "cooler" subregion, and also sweltering Friday; most of us attributed it to nature.) If the date was different then that doesn't apply, and it also wasn't last Friday.

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Check out "A Cook's Tour" this week.  Anthony Bourdain hits TFL with celebrity chefs in tow.  If you're impatient, you can watch TFL section of the episode here.

"Tell Tony this is his cigarette break."

Classic.

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Such a great episode. I thought they did a great job of really capturing what the French Laundry and Thomas Keller as a chef are all about.

Oh the people I'd kill to be at that dinner....


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Rulman, Ripert, Bourdain, who was the 4th dude?


I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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Rulman, Ripert, Bourdain, who was the 4th dude?

Scott Bryan, former chef of Veritas in New York.

Which brings me to ask - how long ago was this filmed?

Bryan left Veritas in September 30 of 2007 (IIRC). The server in this segment was my server at per se last month. He was very good.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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